Cocaine is a powerful stimulant with huge abuse potential. When injected, snorted, or smoked, it produces feelings of energy, confidence and intense euphoria, which makes it a highly addictive substance.
Synthesized by combining the coca plant and salts, such as HCL, through acid/base extraction, cocaine is commercially produced as a white powder. Before hitting the streets, it is adulterated or cut with lactose, baking soda, or anesthetics like benzocaine or lidocaine to magnify its numbing effects and increase its weight. Depending on the extraction process, its texture may vary from a powdery substance to an oily or hard crystal known as “crack cocaine.”
Treating Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction is a complex condition. It has adverse effects on the physical, mental, social, personal and professional life of the person dependent on it.
At Athena, patients suffering from cocaine addiction are subjected to deep psychological analyses to determine the underlying reason for their addiction. Once recognized, the treatment team curates a multi-pronged treatment plan. Such a plan would include the following:
Residential treatment: A residential treatment plan for cocaine addiction ensures that the patient is given the right treatment intervention at the time required. The patient is constantly monitored to ensure that they respond well to therapy and to change the treatment plan immediately if the patient faces any discomfort during treatment or does not respond well to the treatment.
Behavioral therapy: This intervention focuses on rewarding and encouraging the patient to not use cocaine. It is often combined with medications to imbibe positive changes in behavior and lifestyle.
Medication administration: Along with the necessary and relevant behavior and alternate therapies and counselling sessions, effective medicines are administered as per the treatment plan curated to overcome cocaine addiction.
Alternative therapies: For some patients, non-verbal forms of therapy like art therapy, yoga, exercise, acupuncture, etc. work well for overcoming cocaine addiction.
The treatment team at Athena takes into cognizance each patient’s individual personality, needs and requirements to curate the treatment plan. This ensures that the plan is effective and prevents relapse in the long run.
Cocaine and the Brain
Compared to other drugs, cocaine has the most direct and immediate impact on parts of the brain that regulate mood and pleasure. Because of this, rehab for cocaine addiction must be assiduous.
Cocaine is a strong central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that increases levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in brain circuits regulating pleasure and movement. It prevents the dopamine from being recycled, causing excessive amounts to build-up in the synapses (the junctions between neurons). This amplifies the dopamine signal and ultimately disrupts normal brain communication, causing cocaine’s characteristic high.
Symptoms of Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine is among the most abused recreational drug, owing to the sense of euphoria it creates. Cocaine is known to increase the levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the human brain. Dopamine is commonly associated with the regulation of the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. In the view that cocaine use is associated with increased risk of stroke, and deterioration of the ability of the heart to contract, it is important to address its abuse before it causes irreparable damage to either the heart or the brain.
The most common symptoms of cocaine abuse include:
High levels of enthusiasm
Problems in concentration
Harmful Effects of Cocaine Abuse
Cocaine use is known to cause irreversible mental and physical damage when abused over a long period of time.
Some of the common short-term effects of cocaine abuse are:
Anxiety and paranoia
Intense drug craving
Panic and psychosis
Constricted blood vessels
Loss of appetite
Disturbed sleep patterns
Erratic or sometimes violent behavior
Tactile hallucination that creates the illusion of bugs burrowing under the skin
Hallucinations, agitation, irritability
Convulsions, seizures and sudden death from high doses
Increased heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature
Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use
High blood pressure, leading to heart attacks, strokes and death
Permanent damage to blood vessels of heart and brain
Liver, kidney and lung damage
Destruction of tissues in nose if snorted
Respiratory failure if smoked
Infectious diseases and abscesses, such as HIV, if injected
Malnutrition, weight loss due to repressed appetite
Severe tooth decay
Auditory and visual hallucinations
Sexual problems, reproductive damage and infertility (for both men and women)
Disorientation, apathy, confusion and exhaustion
Irritability and mood disturbances
Increased frequency of risky behavior
Delirium or psychosis
Tolerance and addiction (even after just a single use)
In addition to the above risks, people with cocaine addiction are highly vulnerable to suffer heart attacks or strokes, and even sudden death.
Athena Behavioral Health offers effective de-addiction programs such as medically and nutritionally assisted detox options as well as individualized treatment programs to people battling cocaine addiction become sober again.
Get Immediate Help for Cocaine Addiction
Despite all the possible dangers associated with cocaine use, the good news is that it is possible to recover from cocaine addiction. Athena Behavior Health’s detoxification and cocaine addiction treatment programs, followed by subsequent recovery programs can help individuals addicted to cocaine enjoy quality life. Our treatment strategies are based on an all-encompassing approach to assess neurobiological, social and medical aspects of the patient’s drug abuse and treat them accordingly.
All you need to do is call our 24/7 helpline number 9289086193 and we assure you we will do everything to provide effective and optimum care to your loved ones.